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Bach: Cantatas Bwv 72, 73, 111 & 156 / Gardiner, Et Al


Release Date: 05/09/2000 
Label:  Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog #: 463582   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Sara MingardoJoanne LunnStephen VarcoeJulian Podger
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque SoloistsMonteverdi Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

For the first live recording in the Gardiner pilgrimage of Bach's cantatas, four works written for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany make up a programme performed in the Chiesa di San Marco, Milan in January 2000. The theory that Bach wrote shorter cantatas in the winter so that the choristers wouldn't catch cold (hmmm) should perhaps yield to Bach's tendency in the mature Leipzig cycles to a compact and resolute working of a melodic point, usually closely allied to the specific conceit of the text. One might consider the Epiphany context to be one of consolidation after the joyous birth, the prospect of unwavering discipleship in the New Year. Gardiner is keenly aware of the sentiment in '0 selger Christ', from No 72, sung authoritatively by Read more Sara Mingardo (the same type of blind faith is conveyed memorably by Ruth Holton's 'Ich folge' in his St John Passion) and in 'Mein Jesus' from the same cantata, complete with its delicious little coda, sung with purity of tone (if not technical security) byJoanne Lunn.

The 'horses for courses' strategy employed by Gardiner over the years has served him well, though quite on what basis he chooses Bach singers is something of a mystery. In 'Herr, wie do willt' (No 73), we hear all the soloists in Bach's deliberately sectional exchange between chorus and recitative - each interruption providing a ritual of human frailty alongside the wilfulness of the ever-present God, as imparted by a thread of symbolically constant figuration. Apart from Gardiner's limited pursuit of the blatant duality at work here (wonderfully exploited by Herreweghe), there is the sense of the singers being kept in line for the greater good. Stephen Varcoe is, as ever, responsive to meaning, but is given too little freedom to colour. Lunn has abundant lightness and agility with a quasiboyish timbre. Only with Julian Podger - an exceptionally alert Bach singer - does one feel a full-flighted personality riding each wave of the marvellous tenor aria in No 73 ('Ach, senke dich') and in No 156, where the soloist circumnavigates a chorale with an especially poignant contemplation on 'einem Fuss im Grabe' ('with one foot in the grave').

The English Baroque Soloists accompany all the arias with customary aplomb; refreshingly, under Gardiner they and the Monteverdi choir shun the tendency for endless legato as a common denominator, and as a result the choruses to both Nos 72 and 111 are suitably robust. The latter is fast but never harried, the contrapuntal detail thrillingly realised and the choir sounding considerably better than on the Easter disc (Nos 6 and 66, 4/00). Where Gardiner loses his head is in the redoubtable duet of the same work, where the exaggerated saccadé accompaniment and breathless tempo robs the piece of its incandescence in 'so I tread fearlessly'. Here, the 'historical' competition of Kurt Thomas provides the essential ingredients both in the moving lyricism and utterly believable conviction of Marga Hoffgen and Hans Joachim Rotzsch.

In short, even with the missed opportunities -usually where the emotional essence of a movement is either gagged or unexplored - this is still a disc of considerable merit, notably in its irresistible vigour, assiduous characterisation and often dynamic execution. There is, of course, a vitality and immediacy in the 'liveness' (and recording perspective) of the event which makes this a distinctive, if not indispensable addition to the catalogue.

-- Gramophone [9/2000]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Alles nur nach Gottes Willen, BWV 72 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Sara Mingardo (Alto), Joanne Lunn (Soprano), Stephen Varcoe (Baritone)
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1726; Leipzig, Germany 
2.
Herr, wie du willt, so schicks mit mir, BWV 73 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Stephen Varcoe (Baritone)
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1724; Leipzig, Germany 
3.
Was mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit, BWV 111 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Joanne Lunn (Soprano), Sara Mingardo (Alto), Stephen Varcoe (Baritone),
Julian Podger (Tenor)
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1725; Leipzig, Germany 
4.
Ich steh' mit einem Fuss im Grabe, BWV 156 by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer:  Julian Podger (Tenor), Sara Mingardo (Alto), Joanne Lunn (Soprano),
Stephen Varcoe (Baritone)
Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir
Period: Baroque 
Written: 1729; Leipzig, Germany 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Bach Cantatas! April 3, 2012 By Kathleen M A. (Moultonborough, NH) See All My Reviews "I really enjoyed these cantatas 72, 73, 111 & 156.
Our chamber group will be performing # 72 this month & it will be a real pleasure to perform this! I also love the tenor/alto duet in #111, it is very moving and I would love to perform that in the future!
Great recording :)"
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